Archive for the ‘addons’ Category »
Welcome back to my addon corner. I am currently pondering moving this column to a Wednesday, as weekend reader numbers are traditionally very low. This means that the next addon corner might be happening in a couple days already, as I am trying to work out a posting schedule at the moment.
Today, I’ll talk about addons that will pep up your minimap. There are several different ways to spice up your minimap, from being able to move it around freely to using different shapes, etc.
I am currently using PocketPlot. I only recently discovered this gem of a minimap addon. This addon is very lightweight. Or what would you call an addon that’s 0.5kb in size? Really small. Why PocketPlot? I recently went back from having my minimap in the lower area of my UI to back to the default position. I personally don’t need fancy skins. I really enjoy the custom ‘blips’ that I like more than the default Blizzard ones, I like the clock underneath the map, I like the positioning of stuff like mail, LFG, tracking, etc.
What might take some people aback is that the addon has absolutely zero interface for setting it up in-game. And still, it’s very easy to set up. It requires you to open the pocketplot.lua file in any text editor and follow the simple instructions that Seerah provides in the comments.
As example, this is what my setup looks like:
If that’s all too minimalistic for you (which is the point of the addon), there are several great alternatives. The latest one on the scene is SexyMap by Antiarc (of Omen and Chatter fame). It seems aptly named, because the textures that come with it look gorgeous. If you are looking for a very shiny minimap, this might be for you. I am more tempted by such ‘sexy’ additions as minimap buttons all gone unless you hover over the map.
Another staple is Chinchilla by cknight (of Fubar and Pitbull fame). I used this for a long time, and it’s very solid. Drag and drop your map, use several different skins, display coordinates, this minimap can do it all. Its only fault is probably that it can do too much and feels a bit bloated.
Simple Minimap falls into the same category. It seems as feature-rich as Chinchilla. Maybe a bit more modular, so you can delete all the features you don’t need.
There are several addons that specifically deal with the problem of buttons cluttering up your minimap. I am using MBB, which stands for Minimap Button Bag. What it does is that it creates one button on your minimap that when clicked will show you all other buttons from other addons. Those can still be used normally, MBB just keeps them out of sight. If you want to have specific buttons not hidden by MBB, Ctrl-Right clicking them will put them back onto your minimap. In my above screenshot, I have one button moved outside MBB and have the rest happily hidden away. It does seem to have a problem with something called DagAssist, so if you use that, MBB might not be for you.
Another alternative would be to use Minimap Button Frame, which creates a frame with all your buttons that you can place anywhere on your screen. It’s a neat idea, but I prefer the buttons hidden completely when I don’t need them.
Since the patch rolled around, I’ve been spending a lot of time tuning my UI, which I find almost as enjoyable as slamming my shield into the faces of big bosses. For 3.0, I deleted all addons that I had and rebuilt my UI from the ground, similar to what Anna from ToomanyAnnas has done.
My UI is not the prettiest out there, but I find it very functional, very informational, and clean. I use a lot of addons, but for now I will only talk about the ones that are immediately visible, the core UI.
This will be a series of posts dissecting my UI. If you have any questions about elements, ask away. If you know something cool you think I would like, let me know!
Let’s start the show with a snapshot of my UI when I am idly standing around, and the introduction of one of the elements of my UI: Data Broker
Data Broker: At the top I have Data Broker blocks, just as I have them on the bottom of the screen. I used to be a die-hard Fubar fan, but if you follow the trends of Ace developers, they are all moving away from Fubar, towards the flexibility of Data Broker. What exactly is Data Broker? It’s an Ace library, short LDB, that allows endusers the choice of what LDB display they wish to use. There are a bunch of different displays that all have a different look and feel. I myself use Fortress to create a Fubar lookalike, but it is a lot more flexible. Every Data Broker addon gives me a block I can freely move anywhere I want to on my screen. If you look next to my chat frame, that’s where I have all my raid modules, e.g. The first time you set up all Data Broker plugins and your display of choice, you might be overwhelmed, because the blocks will be all over the place, but you can simply drag and drop them to where you want to have them, and they dock when you connect them.
Yes, Titan, the old resource hog and first information bar is now Ace’d and LDB-ready. Unlike Fubar. Go figure. However, there are two addons that their developers call hacks to make Fubar and LDB compatible. The first is Fubar2Broker which turns Fubar plugins into LDB objects. I use that myself, as I haven’t found native Broker plugins that are as good as a couple Fubar plugins I still use (MoneyFu, QuestsFu, ToFu and TopscoreFu). If you’re a dedicated Fubar user, you might have run into the problem that recent addons no longer provide a Fubar plugin to access it (e.g. Omen, Bugsack, etc.). Those of you can use Broker2Fubar to turn LDBs into Fubar plugins.
As I said, I chose Fortress as display, after testing most of the others. This was the one I could make look the cleanest. I then later added another display. Yes, you can run several displays without any problems. I have set all my informational plugins to be displayed by Fortress and all launchers are displayed in MakeRocketGoNow. Launchers are the plugins that serve like minimap buttons. You click on them to get access to the configuration menu of an addon. Many addons came with native launchers for Fubar, and a lot of Ace addons have switched to LDB launchers.
You get a Rocket block you can place anywhere, and when you click on it, you get several large buttons of all launchers of your various addons. Clickie, end up in Omen configuration, as on the screenshot. Saves up a lot of info real estate.
If you want to look at what addons you get for LDB, check out the Data Broker category over at WowInterface.
Now that 3.0 is almost here, it’s time to start this new project here, introducing addons.
I am starting with one of my favorite addons that will be incredibly useful tomorrow, when it comes to getting all the other addons to work: Ampere. Basically, what it does is that in the default Interface menu while in-game you will be able to access the Addons menu that you usually only have available at the Character Screen. Without having to log off, you can disable addons, enable them, get Load on Demand addons loaded, and then reload the UI to get all the changes. Back in the day when one of my addons broke I would have to log off a million times, Ampere fixes that issue for me.
There’s a similar addon called ACP, but I am a Tekkub fangirl, and he writes addons that are teeny-tiny, integrate seamlessly, don’t need hours to set up and are frequently updated.
As special, extra feature I am tossing you this link, as overview which addons should work and which won’t. Good luck! I wish I had gotten a chance at trying the latest Autobar build, but the PTR is down already. It’s coming, it’s really happening!
I have to admit that I am a heavy addon user. It’s an addiction I can’t shake. Not just flashy addons that will completely change my UI, but small utility addons. I’ve always had it on my to-do list to write about my UI and never got around to it. Yet.
However, the past week saw a dramatic change for me regarding addons, and I am kind of surprised that no one posted about it yet. How is that? Am I the only blogger in the world who is hooked on addons and WAU?
A short history about my addon stages. I have been playing since March 2005 and sometime in summer of that year discovered addons. I kept the basic UI, but used CT_Mod to better use action bars, started using TitanPanel for more information, and that was basically it. The longer I played, the more addons I used, and bloat became obvious. I eagerly jumped on the Ace train when it first cropped up, ditched Titan for Fubar, and grabbed just about everything Ace delivered at Wowinterface Updating was done manually, using the ‘My favorites’ feature at WoWI. Even back then I mostly avoided Curse and WoW UI, who were getting known for being riddled with keylogger ads.
I discovered the WowAce forums as beautiful source of keeping me up to date on new addons, and that’s where I found WowAceUpdater. This client would scan your addons folder, compare it to the index at files.wowace.com and grab the latest copy. From then on, I would run this once a week, would always have the latest copy, always on top of changes. In my early Ace days, I often had library conflicts, so I downloaded with no externals and always had the most recent copy of all libraries as well. Of course this also meant that my addons folder was bloated with dozens of library folders, making it hard to follow which libs were actually still in use or just dead-weight.
Other updaters showed up on the scene, and most of them were able to access the repository at Wowace as well. All was well, until Kaelten had to pull the plug. I immediately felt a tad bit guilty, because this guy had to pay huge traffic costs so that people like me could one-click update their addons. Mind you, I don’t blame Kaelten that he’s putting an end to it. The site had a terabyte of traffic in months with patch releases. That’s just nuts.
All release versions of Ace addons are now up at Curse, who incidentally have hired Kaelten to create CurseForge. Imagine SourceForge for addons. You can only use CurseClient if you don’t want to manually update, and that client reportedly will delete more recent versions and is still pretty buggy. To make things worse, it will force the CurseProfiler on you, if you want it or not. If you don’t want to use the Client, you can stick to manually updating, which is what I am doing now. It’s pretty awful timing. I know that the casual community of WoW players will be kinda shell shocked when they notice WAU is dead. The ladies over at wow_ladies certainly were when I told them about the changes.
This morning I spent a couple hours to create the perfect 3.0 UI. Fubar goes the way of the dodo, to be replaced with the more flexible Data Broker plugins with Fortress as display. Bongos 2 goes Dominos. I went to using lots of super-tiny Tekkub addons. I actually deleted every single Ace library and downloaded everything manually off Curse to include libraries. I started tracking my addons on Wowinterface, which is by far my favorite UI release site. Those I can’t find at WowI I marked as favorites as Curse.
I actually like going back to only updating addons when they need it, instead of using alpha or beta versions. Sure, it’s a lot more work now, but I love fiddling with my addons. WowI has an updater client as well, for those who want to update manually.
Whew, that was long. Am I the only tank in the world who’s addon-obsessed? Surely not.